To hit it big, I have to go swimming. It seems we are fifteen times more likely to be bitten by a shark than we are to hit the jackpot. I wouldn’t know these things if I didn’t watch television all the time. I know it burns up electricity and adds nothing to my useful store of knowledge, but electricity is our friend, I am likely to say to anyone who will listen. Why should I let it go to waste?
Without television and electricity, I would not have this topic to write about, which may or may not be informative, or relevant.
Without electricity and television, I certainly would never know that it is time to go swimming and get attacked by a shark. I did get stung by a jellyfish once, while swimming in the ocean in Africa. Perhaps I have paid my dues and can chance losing some spare change in a slot machine, although I am not sure a jellyfish ranks in the same category as a shark.
In Nevada, the lottery is illegal, despite me voting ‘yes’ on it every chance I get. I don’t mind risking a dollar. That is the biggest gamble I’ve been willing to take since having a baby.
As for this show on the lottery that I am watching, I am going to change the channel. I don’t need to hear about how these people who have become instant zillionaires are foolishly spending and wasting their money. I know far better ways to spend that much money. I have an electric bill to pay.
I was at the Bellagio over a weekend once visiting a friend and had a little ‘staycation’. This is when you get to tell your family you will be back ‘tonight’, and you are, but for barely enough time to dent the pillow before you are off again, paying someone to park your car.
My slightly battered pick up truck, which I drove back then, fit right in with the Maseratis and Ferraris at the hotel. When I went to claim it, I explained to the twenty-something valet that it had a cold engine. “Just keep your foot on the brake, and give it steady gas,” I said, while he looked at me as if I was speaking in tongues.
A friend was in town for her boyfriend’s conference, so she got to spend money on stuff that would later be written down somewhere as tax-deductible conference expenses.
These are the best kinds of staycations and vacations. I hadn’t been down to the Strip, a street a mere ten minutes from where I live and that’s including traffic lights, for four years. That was the last time she was here, so it felt like I’d really left town and was now in another zone altogether. Its amazing that I have managed to avoid the entire length of Las Vegas Boulevard for that long, but there is really no reason for us to go there, unless it is to gawk at the tourists.
My friend and I lounged at what the Bellagio was pleased to call one of three pools, but is really just something blue to look at while frying in the sun. I’ve had a tan for the last several months, being a person who lives in the southwest and who actually goes out in the sunshine once in awhile. Most of the other people did not have tans, because they were from the east coast, or Uzbekistan. The pools are made to be just short of really attractive, so that you won’t be tempted to spend the entire day there. They also close them at 6pm, so that you are forced to come inside and spend money at the tables or restaurants.
There is no earthly reason to close swimming pools so early in the day in Las Vegas, especially after daylight savings time. However, lifeguards are an extra expense, and without them you’d have all kinds of suicides floating face down in three feet of water, clutching an ace in one hand that had been paired with a four, and was hit with an eight.
This person had no way to get home after losing all their money and would have been forced to wander in the desert, making meals of mice and cactus. Even cactus is hard to find around here.
Being with a friend who is a girl was a real boon after months of my own company and the company of two males. I love these two males. They are the best and the sweetest males anywhere, but nothing beats a girlfriend now and then, especially one who’s known you for thirty years. We lounged like there was no tomorrow, except that on the morrow we went to the spa and had massages.
Besides lounging, there are hot tubs. I love hot tubs. They just seem to do your body good, even if its only to make you sweat. Two other women who were there for the same conference kept winning at blackjack and driving my friend crazy with greed, and lust for riches.
One of them was up a lot, then was down a lot, and last I heard, she was up a lot. If she didn’t lose it between times, she made a tidy profit. However, when you are a natural coward about losing money, gambling is really hard, which means winning money at gambling is hard. Nevertheless, after a little practice playing blackjack by the pool, with me as a dealer using a single deck, we went into the casino to try our luck.
I dealt blackjack at the Golden Nugget years ago, so I go strictly by the rules of the ‘strategy.’ I have no patience for people piping up and talking about “splitting what you want,” or doubling down on everything, etc.
I told my friend to learn the rules first, and then she can break them. I also try to inform the know-it-alls that even money is the same as insurance, but they refuted this basic mathematical concept. I am right by the way, and Wikipedia backs me up in a most articulate way. Wikipedia usually has my back.
I started with sixty dollars, lost that, and then we started losing most of my friend’s two hundred dollars. We changed tables, and I won most of that money back, gave it to her for safekeeping, and played with my lost funds. I started winning, started losing, and when I’d lost all but fifty dollars, I went home.
Going home only ten dollars in the hole is an excellent way to win big money and come out ahead in Las Vegas. One of the most heart-rending things I’ve heard was my friend’s plea when she was losing, “I was winning by the pool when we were practicing.” It almost broke my heart.
Here is the tip my hubby learned from a hardcore gambler, someone who had won and lost big time in the casinos at all kinds of games.
He told him that to win money at gambling, you had to be in a ‘zone’. This zone has nothing to do with hitting an athletic wall, or meditating to funky music in a quiet room, or even being in a spot located in a delivery area. No, it is like that zone you reached when you’d been up for five days without sleep during midterms in college, cracking books that hadn’t been cracked in three months.
This zone means your eyes are very similar to that trout which is laying on the counter or the picnic table, waiting to be cleaned. They are glassy and frozen, red-rimmed and glazed. Your brain is barely functional, but knows enough to stand on a nine and an ace, unless you listen to that little ‘zone’ voice that tells you to double down on those pretty cards.
The voice is telling you this because you just want to lose your last few dollars and go home to bed, already. You will probably win doubling down on that twenty, and while your body is unable to do much more than lurch to the restroom now and then, your brain will keep telling you to do things like that.
You will start to win even more. You will keep doubling your bets with your winnings, and for a short time, at least until the dealer gets tapped out, you will win a lot of money.
If you are still able to distinguish between your watch and those freckles on your wrist, you will see that it is now 6am the following day. You have been sitting at the blackjack table for fourteen hours, maybe more if you are a pro and can take the smoke, hours of inane chatter, and the same music over and over. You will cash in your chips, which hopefully will total two thousand dollars or more. Much more, I would hope. Maybe thirty thousand.
This is more than you make in a week, or even a year, unless you are already a high earner in your regular life. In that case, you already have big bucks and shouldn’t be reading my blog post.
There exists the possibility you will win all this money in the first thirty minutes of entering a casino. If you are smart, which you probably aren’t, you will cash in your chips and leave five minutes after you start to lose. Any business major will tell you that making thirty thousand in thirty minutes is a much better use of your time than making thirty thousand in twelve hours.
If you are the person with big bucks, go back to the pool for awhile and sweat out the smoke you’ve breathed in and the booze you drank all night. But first tip the dealer and waitress really big, you four flusher.